Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Amanda Knox Testifies

Introduction

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox

In a controversial move, Amanda Knox took the stand in her own defense in her trial in Perugia, Italy, on June 11 and 12, 2009. The American foreign exchange student and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito stand accused of the murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher, in what prosecutors allege was kinky sex play gone lethally wrong. The American wasn't required to testify, but her lawyers seem to have calculated that the intense, pretty girl might be able redeem herself by giving her account of the night of Kercher's death and the events which followed.

Knox shocked the court right from the start of the trial in January. If anyone in the audience had been expecting a subdued presence in which the soccer-playing Seattle native attempted to project innocence and show off her good character, then they hadn't been paying attention to this story and its quirky lead.

Knox's first words in court in February clarified what she seems to have believed was a significant detail: She confirmed that she kept extra condoms and a vibrator in a transparent case in the bathroom in the Perugia apartment she shared with Kercher and two young Italian women.

Knox is a confident young lady. When prosecutor Giuliano Mignini interrupted her several times during her testimony, she chastised himin fluent Italian, no less.

Giuliano Mignini
Giuliano Mignini

Mignini himself is currently on trial in Florence for professional misconduct in other cases and abuse of office, including wiretapping journalists. He could see a 10-month prison sentence of his own if he's convicted.

While her friends in the US attacked Mignini's reputation, Knox in her June testimony painted herself as an innocent victim, a scared and confused girl bullied by Italian police when they questioned her about her roommate's death.

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